Prize-led fundraising such as running a lottery can create the impression that the charity is wealthy enough to be giving money away, rather than using this for the charity’s cause, or that the charity is in some way being careless with hard-earned supporter funds.
Needless to say, as lottery fundraisers (who believe passionately in the power of prize-led fundraising!) this is the last thing we want. In reality, as lotteries have become more prevalent and supporters more accepting of this format, the question comes up less than it used to! However, it still gets asked from time to time, and there a few small changes you can make to head off giving any of your supporters the wrong impression.
Your FAQs should make it apparent that prize money comes directly from lottery money, and is (likely) a small proportion of your total proceeds. You need to display this information anyway to meet the Gambling Commission’s LCCPs, but including this has the added benefit of explaining to supporters that your prize money is funded by the lottery.
You can then go a step further in your FAQs to explain that by offering prizes you are able to attract more supporters who otherwise wouldn’t engage with you, which creates more money for your charity in the long run.
GOSH Charity do this well in their FAQs:
- Why are you giving away so much money every week?
- With all our fundraising activity we are careful to keep the costs as low as possible to ensure as much money as possible goes to support the hospital. We anticipate the money we raise through the weekly lottery will significantly exceed the prize money offered each week. We have carefully considered the offering of a financial incentive which is already a key part of our existing, successfully established raffle fundraising programme. We also hope that the lottery will help us to reach new supporters too.
We continually monitor the cost effectiveness of all our fundraising activity, and this will include our new lottery programme of fundraising.